The Victorian Government has proposed new gas market reforms in an attempt to drive down prices, protect jobs and preserve the supply of gas to Victorian homes and businesses.
A new gas export mechanism announced in early June 2017 would place a cap on the total allowable gas that major companies can export in order to protect domestic needs.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “There is something seriously wrong when you can buy Australian gas in Japan for a cheaper price than what businesses in Victoria are being charged, this needs to change.
“The Commonwealth’s proposed reforms don’t go far enough, soon enough. We need immediate action – that’s what our plan delivers.”
The Victorian Government’s proposal would also provide temporary subsidies and co-investment for energy efficiency measures and give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission greater powers and market oversight.
The State Government is also exploring the development of a LNG import terminal in Victoria. The proposals will be put forward at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Hobart in early June.
Australia is now the world’s second largest LNG exporter, with around two thirds of gas produced for the east coast market exported to Asia. Australia is expected to become the world’s largest exporter of LNG by 2020.
The State Government continues to support Victorian businesses and manufacturers dealing with the pressures of a volatile gas market through a $90 million support fund announced in the Victorian Budget 2017/18.
Minister for Industry and Employment, Wade Noonan, said, “Rising gas prices are hurting Victorian manufacturers and putting jobs at risk – that’s why we need a tough new cap on exports.”